The era during which a drama is written can altogether change or exemplify certain motives, that if written in another time, would not only be misread but could also possibly be entirely unrecognized. It is during the era of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, that two prominent dramatists, Amiri Baraka and Lorraine Hansberry, sought the perfect opportunity to create plays that brought forth, with earnestness and directness, the great trials faced daily by African-Americans throughout the United States. Through their two protagonist's interactions with a representation of the white race of that time, Walter Lee's handling Mr. Lindner in A Raisin In the Sun, and the oppression of Clay caused by Lula in The Dutchman, the very the
A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry shows how people’s actions can be perceived as both good and bad. In this play, the Younger family is trying to achieve the American dream, “the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American”(cite dictionary.com). The Youngers are a black family living in a poor part of Chicago. The family inherits ten thousand dollars from a relative. Each family member has their own idea about how to use this money to fulfill their dreams. The play uses the decisions of the family members to make the reader think about what are the right choices. Mama is the matriarch of the family, and she wants to use the money to buy a house in a white neighborhood. She wants to move to this neighborhood because it is a better environment for her family. Lindor is a man who lives in the white neighborhood and he appears to make decisions for the benefit of the family. The decisions that Mama and Lindor make and the actions they take can be viewed as good or bad for both the individual and the community.
A recurring theme in American history has been that of the American Dream, the idea that anyone, regardless of race, can achieve success through hard work. In his stirring 1990 play The Piano Lesson, August Wilson uses African-American characters to embody the American Dream. Throughout the play, set in Pittsburgh in 1936, Wilson traces the economic successes of several African-American characters, such as Boy Willie and Lymon. However, Wilson’s portrayal of this apparent progress conflicts with the true historical setting. The reality between 1877 and the 1930s was that social barriers, such as Jim Crow laws and sharecropping, precluded economic progress for most African-Americans. A few black Americans such as Madam Walker, an Indiana businesswoman, made some progress, but in general there was stagnation in terms of pecuniary growth during this time period. August Wilson’s interpretation of African-American economic progress through fictional characters in The Piano Lesson is flawed because it represents a few economically successful African-Americans of the time, but fails to capture the lack of progress made by the majority between 1877 and 1930.
Economic and societal poverty are the key forms of poverty highlighted in the three-act play, A Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry, the playwright, discusses the hardships of African-Americans attempting to emerge in society in the 1950’s. The play is staged in ways where the audience can grasp the trifles of an African-American family continuously experiencing setbacks whilst attempting to achieve their notion of the “American Dream”. To Walter Lee Younger, his idea of the “American Dream” is that anything is possible for those who have money. Unfortunately, there is a minor problem: Walter Lee Younger is a working-class African-American man who struggles to make ends meet in the Southside of Chicago, Illinois. The family undergoes
In the 1950’s African Americans faced many hardships like economic problems and racial discrimination against Caucasians. These problems have left many African Americans working for white people as drivers, maids, or butlers to them making them inferior to the white man. In “The Raisin in the Sun” they face the same trial and tribulations that many African American families were struggling with which were economic hardship and racial discrimination in America. “The Raisin in the Sun” is a play about a struggling family trying to make it into a world where they are inferior to others.
Being black in America means to exist while subconsciously striving to reach out and own that imaginary white picket fence. You know, that nice house nested inside that white picket fence in that wonderful neighborhood with the perfectly cut grass on top of that sunny hill along with the perfectly paved roads leading up to it. African Americans see it all the time in televisions, magazines and newspaper ads. As poor blacks invest their life’s work in trying and subsequently failing to achieve this imaginary dream, they end up devouring any sense propriety remaining in their life; the play A Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry exemplifies this tragedy.
Popular media allow for the general public to be able to properly digest the matters of racial prejudice that are prevalent in our society. There are various ways that racial prejudices are exposed through actions and the structures in society that stems from the perceptions that race is this biological hierarchical supremacy. Additionally, these race classifications that are made by those in power has structured society in a way that puts some in advantage and many at a disadvantage that has continued into modern society. These are disadvantages are revealed through such things as microagressions and socioeconomic structures that favored and continues to favor the “dominant” classes. These matters can be best expressed through personal experiences relating to experienced prejudice, such as Lorraine Hansberry conveying artistically her experience with racial housing issues in Chicago. In her play, The Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry reveals through the Younger family, such issues as community acceptance, lost dreams, and racial discrimination on an economic level. Bruce Norris’s play, Clybourne Park, considers these issues as well as he expands on Hansberry’s world in his personal adaptation of The Raisin in the Sun’s primary plot point. Through experiences shared in the Younger’s future home, Norris explores privilege, systematic racism, white flight, community, and gentrification. Through reference and analysis of Raisin in the Sun and then of Clybourne Park, followed by
Throughout American history, poverty has overwhelmed the inner cities, causing families to face everyday issues such as finances with regards to food, schooling, and extra activities or utilities. However, these circumstances can also test a family and push them to their breaking point. The topic of poverty is evident in Loraine Hansberry’s play that takes place in the late 1950s. As the play A Raisin in the Sun progresses, the characters develop as a whole, enhancing symbolism- specifically Mama’s plant- that represent the family.
As Walter says in Act 1, “I’m thirty-five years old; I been married eleven years and I got a boy who sleeps in the living room—and all I got to give him is stories about how rich white people live” (34). This disconnect between black families in mid-century America and financial security reminds us of the play’s historical context-- “the good old days” before the civil war when the black people were passive and “happy”. After the civil war blacks were seen as aggressive, unkempt, even animal-like. It was the beginning of warping the American fabric to show that there were clear rules for how blacks would live and be perceived, and how whites were entitled to live. The stereotype was reinforced by blacks allegedly taking jobs from whites, and upsetting the status quo. The fears of many whites worked to keep blacks in the same subservient place they had always been, perpetuating an overt and casual
Though there was a heightened sense of tension over civil rights in the late 1950s when A Raisin in the Sun was written, racial inequality is still a problem today. It affects minorities of every age and dynamic, in more ways than one. Though nowadays it may go unnoticed, race in every aspect alters the way African-Americans think, behave, and react as human beings. This is shown in many ways in the play as we watch the characters interact. We see big ideas, failures, and family values through the eyes of a disadvantaged group during an unfortunate time in history. As Martin Luther King said, Blacks are “...harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what
The adage “age is just a number” is true for the most part, a generational age gap can result in diverse ideas, as such is the social and technological advancement of society. In the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, the Youngers, an African-American family that is financially struggling, is given an opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty when Mama, the matriarch of the family, receives a ten thousand dollar insurance check upon her husband’s death. Disagreement as to what to do with the money arises, and the Younger family struggle to set aside their problems and differences in order to reunite as the family that they were before. In the play, Hansberry effectively communicates the idea that people harbor different opinions on varying ideas depending on the generation by revealing the opinions of Mama, Ruth, and Beneatha on the ideas of religion and marriage.
In the playwright A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry is about a poor African-American family named the Younger. This family live in a poor one bedroom apartment in the Southside of Chicago. In the play this family suffer and struggle a lot and they were always praying and wish to live in a very big house of their own. In the beginning of the play this family knows that they going to get Walter Lee Sr insurance worth 10,000 dollars that he left behind after his death for Lena ( mama). In the play this family was waiting on the check so that they share it to themselves. In the playwright Walter Lee wants to open his own type of business which is liquor store, in the other hand Lena ( mama) has always wanted to buy a big nice house with a backyard where her grandson Travis can been playing everyday. The three characters that are in the playwright are Walter Lee Younger Junior, Lena Younger (mama), and Ruth Younger this are three characters.
Lorraine Hansberry’s novel, A Raisin in the Sun, revolves around a middle-class African-American family, struggling during World War II. By reading about the Younger’s true to life experiences, one learns many important life lessons. One of the aforementioned would be that a person should always put family’s needs before their own. There are many examples of this throughout the novel. Just a few of these would be the example of Ruth and her unborn baby, Walter regaining the respect of his family, and Mama and her unselfish ways.
The play suggests that the Younger family are very poor African Americans living in Chicago in 1958 , and do not get as much equality as Whites did during this time. In the beginning of the play, Walter Lee is a selfish man and a large dreamer, although he feels he has no way to achieve his goal of a high class, luxury life because of how the country is divided up based on race during this time period. Walter is very frustrated and is talking with Beneatha about the family's problems and questions, “Who the hell told you you had to be a doctor? If you so crazy ‘bout messin ‘round with sick people – then go be a nurse like other women – or just get married and be quiet . . .’’ (Hansberry 38).Walter’s word choice reveals that he is stereotypical about women. Walter Lee is very selfish, he does not want Benny to have more success than him - he belittles his younger sister.
A play from the 1959 period of life when racial inequality is still a big and major part for a regular family lifestyle, above all the african american group of people. Because this was such a problem back then easily it’s possible to see issues caused by this with families. Like with moms and sons or mom and daughter or just family’s all together. There are an abundance of examples in the play A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry.